tv Interior Secretary Testifies on Presidents 2023 Budget CSPAN June 8, 2022 4:12pm-6:44pm EDT
this morning, we will review the proposed budget for the interior. i'd like to secretary haaland, and -- back to the committee, as well as the budget director denise finnegan. the present fiscal year, 2023 budget proposed almost 18 billion dollars for the department of interior. that is an increase of 1.9 billion dollars. almost 11% over the current appropriate level. the budget includes significant funding increases for most doa viewers, and almost 8% increase in staffing levels, which is a must needed restoration from the previous cuts. full implementation of an agency deferred maintenance, and other funding from the
great american outdoors act. we are holding this hearing during trying times, putin's horrific invasion of ukraine, russia's weaponization of oil and gas, increasing energy and food prices worldwide. and the growing tons of competition with china. given the current global situation, it is essential for the united states to step up to the plate as a superpower of the world that we are, and the world councils in. that includes development of our abundant energy and resources, unfortunately, even as we see the war waged -- this administration has made its opposition to domestic law and gas production crystal clear. on and off federal lands, and waters. secretary haaland, a year before the committee earlier last year, i told you that i supported the administration taking a brief pause, before increasing lease sales, in july, while you are here during last year's budget hearing. i made clear. the time for a pause is coming on, but almost a year and a half into this administration,
as at -- we still have no use leases. because of a court order, those cells were subsequently vacated by another court. and the administration for some reason declined to appeal or defend them. on short lease sales have followed the schedule this june, albeit with only 20% of the nominated land made available. and alongside a role increased to 18.7 5%, but again, only because of a court order to comply with inquiry choir months of the law. really, this requires sales. the press secretary was quick to clarify that quote. the presidents policy was to ban additional policing. i'm sorry to say it has become crystal clear that the policy is in fact, they, and making good on that day in a week ago today, the interior department announced that it would not be holding the three remaining offshore release sales that could be held in the current five-year program. as you know, senator kelly and i wrote to the president urging him to develop and influence
the next five-year program without delay. we pointed out the gulf of mexico, which are among the cases in the world, would offset foreign shipment across oceans. we would have no reason to believe that new offshore leasing production would be completed on time this summer. as is required by law. or, that if, and when, it is completed, it will actually provide any leasing sales at all. if that is the case, this would be the first time in history that the replacement plan was not published on time. now the administration continues to say that there are 9000 permits, setting unused, and that is why we don't need to do anymore leasing on shore or offshore. let's talk about this magic number of 9000. first, this is the number of onshore drilling permits, i repeat, on short drilling permits. that is a distinction that is not being made, an important one when you realize that it is also being used as an argument against the offshore leasing. second, now focusing in on onshore, least owners applying to pay for this permit, for
months, if not longer in advance, due to the arduous review process, there might be more that you need to do once you finally get the permit before you can drill. third, while it is true that the number of joint permits is slightly higher than normal, it is not true that they are setting unused. planning, scheduling, finding labor materials, these all take time, which is why the permits are valid for two years, and can be extended for good cause. this makes sense. according to the bureau of land management, over 7000 of those permits were extended, passed their initial two year term. now that oil prices are top high, there were negative oil prices in april, just in 2020. and during the covid pandemic. it does not surprise me that it has been easy ask for permanent extensions and are granted them. i am not naive enough to how business operates, oil and gas companies can get these leases and hold on to them at such a low rental right compared to state and private land.
i don't understand why they have not made these common sense changes that we have talked about. let me throw one other factor that we have not heard from the administration. the percentage of onshore leases and production hit the highest it has ever been in the past 20 years. leasing is part of the cycle of development, and announcements that new leasing is not in line with the presidents policy,
while taking concrete steps to block new leasing, have a chilling effect. and yes, new lease sales will not immediately increase production, but the administration's short side of the approach, that only focuses on current production puts americans energy security at risk. the fact is, the federal lease onshore and offshore are producing domestic oil and gas, paying royalties, and increasing our energy security in a way that is so far much more cleaner than what russia put into the market, what iran puts into the market, and what venezuela has ever put into the market. my frustration is that we are talking to opec, iran, and venezuela to increase oil up, but while at the same time, we are blocking increased energy production at home. it does not make any sense at all. just yesterday, the administration began the process of eating sanctions on venezuela. if you can believe this. easing the basic sanctions that we have kept in venezuela today. we allow chevron to be able to
go -- with the venezuelan state law company about future activity. i guarantee you, it will not be clean. while i understand it does not give the green light to go on talks, it is a clear step in that direction, and in intent of what they want to do. what is to say that the producers in the united states consider working with the venezuelan government? it certainly does not share our values, instead of supporting domestic american production. is this in our best interest? is this the best we can do? is that the best interest of the free world? i believe we have two critical goals, addressing climate change, and see energy security. actions like these do not get us closer to either of those clothes. the venezuelan oil is among the dirtiest anywhere in the world. putin's war in ukraine must serve as a permanent wake up call to the international community that we cannot rely on nations like iran, russia, venezuela, china, for our energy security. the only way that we can
guarantee our energy security which can also allow us to develop the technology to meet our climate goals, is to rely on ourselves, and our proven partners around the globe. along the same lines, i will head to the energy transition and concern, about our nation's supply of critical minerals, whether the department plays a department -- the geological survey, and the bureau of land management. i'm like oil and gas, the administration has shown interest in reducing the reliance on china, and other countries for key minerals. however, these early steps require following suit. we raised concerns about critical mineral deadlines, from the energy act that multiple agencies, including this have not met. these reports are relatively easy, particularly compared to permitting a new mining operation. domestic mining is only a partial solution to our critical mineral challenges, make no mistake, we need to increase domestic mineral production, and processing or we are going to regret it one day.
see jinping, is taking note of what putin is doing. that is more important with the administration so focused on electric vehicles, which worked expeditiously, and increase our demand for co-cobalt, nickel, -- if we are serious about both climate change and security, at some point in the very near future, new critical mineral minds will need to open, on federal land. we will need to have onshore processing for refining, manufacturing, and recycling. given my experience with the so-called leaching policies, and the energy act deadlines, i must admit that i am skeptical but this administration will ultimately support the development of these types of critical minerals. in the united states of america. given my experience with the so-called leasing policy, and the energy act deadlines, i must admit again, that i am concerned. i hope, for the sake of our country, that i am proven wrong. i will recognize senator barrasso for his opening statement. >> thank you so much for your
opening statement, for york strong and compelling statement for affordable energy, in a day when gas prices continue to hit highs across the country, american consumers are suffering, significantly. the administration does seem to care about the impact is on american families who are trying to buy gasoline, and at the same time, buy groceries. and at the same time, send kids to school, by clothing. maybe consider something that they might do for the summer, but the gasoline prices are the result of the administration's activities, and specifically the department of interiors activity. it is concerning for american families, which is no surprising -- they're heading in the right direction, i am very happy but you are in this hearing today, and making such a strong statement. as you, had the needs of the american people, that feeds the demand of the climate needs of this country, which are running the administration. i do want to have to thank
secretary for being here to testify today, the department -- and bunch of american people. most of this land that is in the west, wyoming, half of the land is owned by the federal government. this includes andean reservations, wildlife refuges, national recreation areas, and the mass bureau land management holdings. in wyoming, we are honored by our national parks, all of our parks. we host millions of visitors, they come to enjoy the spectacular views, iconic wildlife, and at yellowstone national park. this year is a landmark for wyoming in the park service as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of yellowstone. the department also manages water, wildfires, overseas grazing, and for facilitates out already creation. the west is confronting a historic -- reservoirs are drying up, concerns made at the bureau of
reclamation, was the only to pier -- it was actually cut in the budget request this year. the department was actually prioritizing ranting and royal farming communities, with a water to grow the crops, and raise cattle, these communities would not exist, and the food needs of the american people would be even more dire, and more expensive. the department also oversees much of america's energy reserves. no department plays a more critical role in either enabling or undermining. enabling or undermining american energy production. this department is underlining american energy production. the prices are skyrocketing, the job of the secretary of interior is -- over the last, year prices are repeatedly hitting new records, forcing new families and more to fill their tanks. every, day i hear from wyoming families worried about making ends meet, because of skyrocketing energy, because i don't know if you saw this
morning, the prediction this morning mister chairman. they are talking now about $6 a gallon of gasoline, this summer later in the summer. all across the united states. there is no place that you can go where it is less than $4. per gallon. during this energy crisis, when the department could be opening up abundant american oil and gas reserves, the department of interior has done everything possible to shut them down. president says that he wants administration to encourage more american energy. instead, your department, madam secretary, stalled, postpones, and kills natural gas leaks sales. they are among domestic energy production, expediting it. the results are apparent, the senator, since president biden took office, americans have become much more dependent on foreign sources of energy. meanwhile, the same administration has spent much of its time begging our adversaries to produce more oil,
and you said it right, mister chairman. well before the war in ukraine, the administration and the president directly was even begging russia for more oil, they even put it on the white house website. not just oil, natural gas, coal, we have plentiful minerals in this country, we need to find ways to increase, not decreased production for our nation's most abundant natural resource. not too long ago, the revelation helped make this energy not just independent, but dominant. we were equally positioned to help our allies freed themselves from the yoke of russian energy. sadly, this administration has brought us to a counter revolution, complete with higher prices, and a weaker economy. not when a president should be proud of, and the american peoples polling shows that the american people are very disturbed by what this administration is doing.
shows that the american people -- could begin to identify areas where you can work together to make american energy don't minute again. by working to restore american energy dominance this department of interior could play a vital role in reducing the new economic distress that has been caused by this administration on millions and millions of americans. i hope that you and the administration will seize the moment and reverse your destructive course. and it is self destructive. members of the committee are also concerned with your department's failure to respect the senate oversight responsibilities. you promised that this wouldn't happen, but it has. it was only two weeks ago that we finally received responses to questions for the record from last year's budget hearings. that year's hearings we received questions, answers to
two weeks ago. a pattern has become very clear in this administration, in this department specifically, after delaying and obstructing and outright ignoring this committee, mister chairman, the responses failed to provide answers to the questions that were posed to you. madam secretary, this too needs to change, so i look forward to your testimony. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you, senator. now we're going to turn to secretary haaland for her statement. >> chairman manchin, ranking member barrasso, and members of the committee, it's an honor and privilege to be here on the ancestral homelands of the anticosti and piscataway people to speak to you today on behalf of the president's 2022 budget for the department of the interior. i've had the honor of being the secretary of the interior for over a year and i and i recognize the importance of this moment for the future of the department and our country. through my travels and while
working here in washington, d.c., i've seen firsthand how everyone every day and every corner of the country are employees go to work with a focus on results. they work with their local communities, states travel, nations and other partners, to conserve and steward our nations and natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit of every bought one. imperious programs are helping january jobs, grow the economy and build resilience to the challenges of our changing climate. i'm grateful that over the past year, i've been able to visit many of your states and to beat the great people that you represent. and it's my hope that these visits will continue in the future. the work we do would not be possible without your leadership and support, and i look forward to continued collaboration on so many of these important issues. before we turn our attention to the budget, i've gotten a lot of questions about the art of continental shelf five-year
planning process, so i want to talk about that upfront. the previous administration had stopped working in 2018 on the new five year plan, so there has been a lot to do to catch up on this. very conflicting litigation has also been a factor. but of course, as i stated previously, bomb is moving forward to expeditiously, and the department will really see -- program which is the next step in the planning process well by june 30th, which is the expiration of the current program. as we take this that step, we will follow the science and the were law, as we always do. this requires a robust and transparent review process that includes input from the public, states, and tribes to inform our decision-making. we take this responsibility seriously and are not pre-judging an outcome. i welcome your continued interest and inquiries, and my
team will follow up next month with details of our proposed palin. working together, we have the ability to make tangible differences in the lives of families across the country. i am proud that we have made great progress in the last year. we took steps to accelerate the development of renewable energy on public lands and waters, launched a federal boarding school in to address the intergenerational impact of indian boarding school policy, deployed resources to build resilience to address the drought crisis, pursued justice for missing and murdered indigenous people, and worked to keep tribal communities safe, and we helped communities prepare against the threat of wild land fired by strengthening our federal firefighting workforce and the resilience of our lands. we also began implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law. once in a generation investment that will, that will help communities tackle the climate crisis moderating jobs, advancing environmental justice,
and boosting a local economies. this funding is already at work at interior, kick starting ongoing efforts to address intensifying drought, wildfires, flooding and legacy pollution. the president's 2023 budget complements this with the request of 18.1 billion for the interior department. our total request is a 12% increase from the 2022 enacted appropriation. specifically, the president budget invests in our country with an unprecedented total of 4.5 billion for indian affairs programs, focused on tribal sovereignty and stronger tribal communities. up to 1.5 billion for wild and fire management to increase fire fighting a capacity, continue the transformation to a more permanent and professional wild land fires workforce, and ensure federal firefighters are paid at least $15 an hour. complementing the transformative investment of
bipartisan infrastructure law, the 2023 budget includes 1.4 billion for reclamation programs and projects. a total of 4.9 billion across interior interior to strengthen natural resource management and improve the resilience of tribal and interior managed lands, hundred 25 million to advance at the presidents ambitious clean energy goals by increasing offshore wind energy power generation and permitting of onshore renewable energy technologies. more than 1.4 billion dollars for research and development programs across the department to ensure science continues to underpin interiors a core mission activities and implementation of our department wide diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility initiatives to proactively advance equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity. i have great ambitions for the department of the interior and what we can accomplish on behalf of the american people. working together, we can do
more to create good paying union jobs, increase the resilience of our lands, expand our ability to fight wild land fires, and mitigate drought, strengthen tribal nations, improve the lives of americans everywhere. in conclusion, we are doing our part to advance priorities that built a better america. thank you again for having me. my colleague, deputy secretary, tommy beaudreau and our budget director, denise flannel can, we are all happy to be here with you. and we are happy to answer any questions that you have. >> thank you. thank you, madam secretary. and i'm going to turn now to senator wyden, who has to leave immediately and attend a hearing in finance. i'll try to make sure that our children have -- . >> not a hearing but a tactic. and mister chairman, thank you very much for the courtesy and senator barrasso, just a word on this energy debate and then i'm going to go to forestry. and a number of colleagues have heard this. i will say colleagues, i think
there is a path out of the traditional gridlock with respect to energy policy. and a number of you know about this, because it was actually birth here in the energy committee. and it's premise premised on technological neutrality. market oriented, private sector incentives for reducing carbon. and i would just note, this morning, colleagues, the chamber of commerce wrote everybody to say that they like technological neutrality. environmental folks like technological neutrality. and i just wanted to spend a quick minute, and i so appreciate the courtesy of our chair, to say it seems to me all of our committees, all of our committees, and i see my friend, senator murkowski, because she was around when we birthed this idea of technological neutrality with respect to energy and getting
government out of the business. and so i just wanted to say a quick word as we all work together on this issue. madam secretary, great to see you. as you know, the west right now i -- see my friend senator heinrich here -- we are consumed by the prospect of another very difficult summer getting hammered by fire. we know these fires today. they argue grandfathers fires. they're bigger, they're harder, they're more powerful, the leap over rivers. and we're getting whole towns whacked. so what i'd like to start with, as you know, we were able to secure significant amount of funding for wildfire management in the infrastructure bill five. billion dollars. our rural communities are looking at this as a lifeline. and i think it would be very helpful if you could start in and talk for example how this money can be used and when it could be used for targeted thinning for prescribed fire
for, for fuels, treat but. if you could just walk us through a bit about your plans to use that money to help the west. because i'll tell you, everything we are seeing, madam secretary, i know they're very, very ominous fire season, please. >> thank you, senator. and certainly i understand what you're saying. new mexico is facing already a really terrible fire year. it's devastating, it's heartbreaking. friends of ours having to evacuate. we understand that completely, and i am sorry. unfortunately, there is a terrible drought, as you know, in the west. we are very grateful for the overall investments from the bipartisan infrastructure law. close to one and a half billion over five years. that will work on a fuels management and rehabilitation. i also want to say upfront that
very proud to have a very strong working relationship with secretary vilsack and the team in the forest service to make sure that we are working together to do all we can. we need to make sure that we have the boots on the ground in those areas. so one of the things that we are addressing, and i mentioned it in my opening remarks, we're working to make sure that firefighters make at least $15 an hour, moving some of the seasonal jobs into full-time jobs and so all of those things the -- equipment, the people, the fuels management in those areas it's all a all important to us and we are making sure to -- >> whatever the question, if i
might, madam secretary and i appreciate the -- pay for firefighters. and we know this has been so outrageous are yet to see these folks not getting paid even anything resembling a fair wage. so i really appreciate that. now, i've been home, i've been in town hall meetings across rural oregon, and i'm hearing from a lot of folks on the ground from local agencies that they really haven't gotten the information they need with respect to how the federal government is going to work with them with respect to wildfire response. do you have plans that you could give us in, you know, since i was chair of the committee, i remember how we used to do it, with senator manchin, senator barrasso and the like, do you have plans that you could get us so that we could get them out to our local [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
[inaudible] have to let you have to let tech know [inaudible] [inaudible] all try to reset see if [inaudible] he if ordinary one works [inaudible] for them for [inaudible] madam secretary. the president has repeatedly claimed to be doing, quote, everything he could do to lower record high gasoline and energy prices. april 15th, your department announced it was fairly non complying with a federal court order to hold onto oil and gas leases. then reduced the parcels offers by 80%. and then you increased the royalty on production by 50%. so you get less, you pay more.
it seems like it's secretary haaland's process here, not put it. please explain how your price hike on american energy production is going to help lower gasoline at home and home energy prices. >> senator, ranking member, thank you so much for the question. with respect to current energy, new drilling has been up. they began trailing nearly 1900 new oil and gas wells in 2021 alone. move issued and approved more than 4700 drilling permits since january 2021, 1100 in 2022 alone. we have work to do our jobs. we are following the science, and we are following the law. with respect to some of the reforms that we made, i feel very -- i take my job very
seriously. it's my job to manage and conserve all of our public lands for every single american. those, of course, our, those are things are all taken into consideration, considering the climate crisis that we are in. we felt that implementing several reforms such as issuing. ushering this is where current infrastructure exists, for example, would move our country forward with respect to making sure we are conserving the land and also doing our jobs to produce energy thank you, mean you both. [interpreter] know that taxpayers get absolutely zero return when we keep american energy on the ground, and we turn to venezuela, or iran, or others. madame, a closer view of the
parcels that were offered in my home state of wyoming show that your only offering product -- have you that are likely to only have little interest. for example, the parcels are not near existing know infrastructure. why are we not offering a new offering in the most attractive parcels? >> i would be happy to look into that. so easy we speak to people on the ground, we have an idea of where those leases should happen, it is behind us, if you would like, we would be happy to follow up with you on any specific parcels that you referring to. >> thank, you would be very helpful. the producers in wyoming are telling me that the best parcels have been taken off the table. if you actually wanted to produce more american energy, you would not take the best leasing options off the table. i want to move on to what you announced this morning, you
announced that the department would release a proposed five-year plan on offshore oil and gas leases. you are way behind schedule, not providing any details on the plan, two weeks ago the senate voted to support my motion to finalize a new five year plan by june of 2022. that is coming up in about six weeks. the new plan to include robust leasing, with at least ten reaching widely sales over the last few years, the gulf of mexico, with a minimum of two sales per calendar year. a large majority of this committee, both sides of the aisle voted for it, and it passed the senate. will you finalize a new five year plan by this date that the senate in a bipartisan way, is recommending, which includes at least ten regionwide sales off of alaska, and the gulf of mexico, with at least two steals per year? >> ranking member, as i mentioned in my opening remarks, we are working on the process, we have been working on that process.
the process was stopped in 2018, as i mentioned, and so there was a lot to catch up on. i will be happy to run a transparent process, we will do what is required, through the law, and we are happy to keep you updated. as to the progress on the five year plan, as the administration, has it both ways, the administration cannot pretend to support oil and gas production while doing everything in their power to slow down and block expanded production on public lands. thank you, mister chairman. >> thank you senator, here goes my questions next, and i would like to ask the same thing about onshore and offshore, all we are asking for, can you commit to doing the leasing? i know you are doing the plan, but what we are committed to is the leasing that goes with it, there is no guarantee that that
will happen on shore or offshore, and if you can't answer, i understand. if you can, is your intent to lease? >> thank you, chairman, our intent is to follow follow the law, we know that our five year plan is in the works right now, i couldn't tell you if i tried what is in that at the moment. >> let me just if i can. i am so sorry to interrupt you. never before has there not been a lease that i know of when the plan was put forward. it was put forward the intent to lease. it was followed up with leasing. you seem to be hesitant. i understand. i'm not trying to put you in a tough spot. i just want to know, is the administration, you have your top people with the right now, is your intent to lease unless you're stopped releasing? >> chairman, we have continued to lease, thank you, we have continued to lease. in fact, i
won't mention the permits. i know that isn't something you want to hear. truth be told, right now, currently, onshore, there are more than 12 million acres under lee's. offshore, more than 8 million acres under these. it's clear that we are leasing. >> those have been previous. the bottom line is you have the ability to make some of the changes which we recommended. those practical changes. they should have been made by now. you don't need us. you can look and review it. and we think sort out of bounds, we will pull you back. and we think that basically, there needs to be adjustment program, private sector understands. it leases they're holding, they should not be holding them. they will if they are cheap as they are. there's a lot of justice that can be made. we are not making any attempt. i'm not going to belabor this anymore. when i am going to do is this. my good friend here from mexico, senator heinrich, showed me the
fires are dealing with. in mexico, all over the last. those of us on the east coast don't really understand. i started asking questions to the people who do basic lee, the timber industry. i found out that on private lands, local citizens can act as their good samaritans and put it out before it gets out of control. if it happens on a federal lands, they are not able to do this. it does not make any sense to me. i talk to people who were basically, they had contracts to cutting. lightning strikes, they sought start, they could not quick enough to put it out before. they had to call the federal government. by the time you got there, you had a raging out of control fire. i never knew this, senator. this is something new to me. it doesn't make any sense. i'm sure, i don't know it's intended to that to happen, but they're telling me that they cannot go on as a good samaritan on federal lands. is that what you understand? anybody?
>> chairman, i am very, very happy to look into this for you. >> it doesn't make sense, does it? >> i appreciate your concern. i will absolutely -- >> my senators here, yeah, you want to say something? >> i am just walking, and sorry. i would say my community is after a severe fire. several years ago, i mean, we have them every year. after the loss of four firefighters, i think people really do believe that the community can be involved in what we termed hasty response. hasty response is an integrated system of local county officials and people working together to jump on you need changes in our climates
driving much warmer temperatures. my colleague, senator richmond, he has the incident response command in idaho. you can go and visit that. they will tell you, they will show you the mapping, with these dry conditions, fire starts are so much more easily to happen. so, we have to create a system that now response to that. the escalation, so, everything's lot drier, and you have the ability to have many more fire starts, having hasty response -- so, we have done some work on this, mister chairman, we can do more. >> let me just say this, if i may. i was talking to one of the larger companies that do tempering on federal lands. they are out in the -- there is no quick response. he told me they saw the lightning strike. they saw the fire start. they had to call it in. it did not make sense to me. is there a prohibition, hey that is of saying. if there is not, they misled me. if there, is we have got to change that. these are professional timber people that
could probably, it's in their best interest to stop the fire before it goes out of control. and is asking that question. i know we've taken a long time. i have another question i want to ask also. >> chairman, if i could say very quickly, we were consistently with states, tribes, local communities to make sure that this is a coordinated effort. we know how important and dire the situation is. >> i just have one more question on that. i will turn to my fellow colleagues. i've heard so much about the flaring that goes on in public lands. i know on, i mean, on private lands, i know that they do everything they can to capture. it is a valued asset. it is a valued product. some are saying, why are they flaring, why are they doing this? -- [inaudible] to take the flaring, take the methane off. my question would be, has the department taken any steps to reduce venting and
flaring on our public lands by expediting, expediting, through the process of getting a pipeline to take that dangerous and harmful methane off and to the market that needs it? we understand that we are in challenging times right now. right now we need to send a clear signal that we can take care of ourselves in the united states. -- >> i appreciate the that thing a priority -- >> i'll go back to firefighting,
because we had, some horrific firefighter taking their life, just very quickly, we put additional funding in the infrastructure bill, bipartisan infrastructure bill, have you started using that funding to address the mental illness problems that we are concerned about with these brave firefighters? >> that is a priority, i couldn't tell you whether funding is in the works, but we are working on that, and we agree with you that that is something that is absolutely a priority for our department. >> senator, thank you, chairman manchin, thank you. secretary haaland, i want to first make sure you begin the process, and innis -- the tragic history of federal indian boarding school policies, it's an important issue to me
for our tribes, i look forward to working with you on these issues, thank you. >> under the dangerous series act, they have 90 days to respond to petitions listing or d list a species, it has been nearly 150 days since montana governor, filed a petition to do list the northern continental divide, and almost 130 days since gordon of wyoming filed a petition for the greater yellowstone ecosystem. during your contra mission hearing last year, you agree that these two population of grizzly bears had not met the criteria. secretary, why is the delayed in responding to these petitions, and when can these two governors expect a response? >> thank you for the question, i know that the wildlife service is working to completely to complete the petition to do list the grizzly
bear. the implementation of the esa is guided by science, and the law, i would be happy to return to my office. inquire about the timeline, and would make sure that martha, where somebody reaches out. >> and for perspective, they did respond to some activists who, i looked to really list great wealth populations on may 6th and june 29th, that was 114 days, and 80 days respectively, there is far more data supporting grizzly recovery then wolf relisting, and f w s is supposed to prioritize petition based on a sting existing established data, not politics. >> thank you senator, we will find out where that is, and find out that they are responding appropriately. >> your agencies fiber status
review concluded that the bear was recovered, it is my understanding that the state of montana has responded to agency feedback regarding our conservation plan, what reason could you have for not moving forward, favorably. >> i just want you did know that we work, we continuously work with states, with tribes,, i know that martha especially being from wyoming, is always in contact with the folks in the state government. i will be happy to look at their timeline, i'll be making sure that they reach out to you. >> thank you, martha's from montana, martha's from montana. earlier this year, you had an editorial and gray wolves, devoid of any facts or substance, but nonetheless threatening montana with an emergency listing, secretary,
has wolf populations in the northern rockies management union unit fallen below 150 wolves? >> senator, i could not tell you the exact number of those, but i am happy to get that information. >> i can tell you that number, there are 1077 wolves in montana alone this year, the minimum target here is 150 for that unit. that is the number, secretary, has wolf populations in either state fallen below 100 wolves for three consecutive years in a row? >> senator, but i can say about wolves is that i know that they are doing well in certain parts of the country, they are not doing so well in entered parts of the country. >> are they doing well in montana? senator if i could say, the work that we are work that we doing with respect to worlds and the esa, it is guided by
science and respect to what a lot. i am confident that our team it is kind of is working within those parameters. confident that our team is working on those parameters came, i could not agree more with signs that the, law. do you realize that gray wolf populations in montana have remained above 1000 wolves for over ten consecutive years? >> senator, i don't know the exact number of wolves. i beg your pardon. i'd be happy to get that number for you. and make sure you have the information that require. >> >> well as you said this is important, the law is important, the numbers are important. so you are up to speed on this. beach a very important issue for us out west and. it's not that hard to get the data. i expect you to actually have that in this hearing, with all due respect. secretary haaland, is there any data that shows montana's law significantly increased the threat to gray wolves in montana? >> senator, i know that wolves
have made a remarkable comeback from when they were first listed. that's in thanks to all the partnerships that we have made. i know that your state has done that remarkable job in ensuring that the ecosystems support the animals that are there. the fishery and wildlife service will make a 12 month finding at the end of the review. i believe that is in september. and we can update you further as -- >> thank you, and much of time. just let the record show, the data shows that the wolf population are way over the recovery target, way over. as well as the grizzly bear populations. so it's time to delisted the grizzly bear, return the management of that wonderful species that has recovered back to the states of montana, idaho and wyoming. thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator heinrich. >> thank you chairman. and thank you chairman for your interest in the fires. we are seeing really different
fire behavior these days. and we're in a, we're in a drought that hasn't been this bad for 1200 years. and we are seeing wind events that we've never seen before. so it's very-0-we have almost 2000 people on one fire. and it's simply impossible for them to hold lines when we have, we've had times when they have been seven, eight, nine, red flag states in a very. so if you have 45 mile an hour winds, 50 mile an hour winds, you can put the tankers up in the air. it's dangerous. you can't put the helicopters up in the air. and sometimes you could put firefighters in front of these spotting fires. and so, it's just a very, very difficult. we are going to have to re-evaluate how we fight fires, i do prescriptions. and i very much appreciate your interest. because we're going to have to work together and. >> i'm committed to help. >> deputy secretary terry
beaudreau, i wanted to ask you -- because you've been around for a couple of different administrations -- oil and gas production, assist in my state of new mexico, up or down? >> oh at gas production onshore and offshore are at record levels, actually. and so a lot of this conversation has been focused on leasing. but then it gets conflated into, you know, allegations that the administration has somehow anti production -- >> are reproducing more or less oil and gas in new mexico on public lands? >> more. >> yeah. according to the epa, our production is up over 400% in the last couple of decades. so i only raise that because it's hard to square with some of the rhetoric we hear here on the hill. i want to move to a hard rock mine cleanup. secretary, in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, congress finally authorized and a dedicated abandoned hard rock
mine reclamation program, something we've needed for decades and decades. and i was really pleased to see in the presidents budget a request for $85 million for her drug mine cleanup. but that funding is channeled through the abandoned mines program and through the energy community revitalization program, which is actually kind of designed to deal with abandoned oil and gas wells. why not simply take that $85 million and fund the abandoned, or the hard rock mine reclamation program that we authorized in the infrastructure bill? >> senator, thank you so much for recognizing the need for us to clean up that legacy pollution across the country and we're grateful to have the opportunity to change peoples lives in that way, not only by creating jobs, but cleaning up their environment. so the pollution doesn't cause health problems and so forth. i appreciate that comment, and
we are happy to speak with you. we're happy to speak more with you about this issue and, of course, follow the lead. the department is requesting 65 million in the oas to address these hard rock mines. so -- >> i think it makes sense to stand up a stand-alone program that really focuses on this. it was a challenge to get this established do and it took decades and i think now is the time and i look forward to working with you on that. >> thank you. >> can you talk a little bit about how the, higher conservation progress. i know the president's articulating some very progressive goals. the 30 by 30 surge of coal is
out there. but how are you actually tracking you, know, what lance interior has protected and what kind of progress you are able to make it towards those, those goals? >> thank you, senator. and thank you for mentioning the america the beautiful initiative, which is really a unifying opportunity for our country to conserve for the future. there is an atlas that is coming out. i believe the beta version is out sometime in the summer. that will be able to track those lands more consistently. we are happy to keep you updated on when we are rolling that out. and i think it'll be a really weird opportunity. >> thank you, chairman. >> i'm sorry, by the end of the year. the atlas by the end of the year. >> look forward to having a
chance to review that when it comes out. >> yes, thank you. >> if i may, real quickly, secretary haaland, i don't know, you will just put out the statement, the did the department of interior just write out a statement. in the statement says the proposed program is not a decision to -- not to authorize any drilling or development. this from y'all's office. so it looks like he will shut everything down. did you know you'll put this out? >> i am sorry, i am sitting in this hearing, and not -- >> my god, somebody just shut it down. it shows what your intent is basically says secretary haaland provides updates on offshore leasing program during the senate testimony. during testimony before the are sentenced senate with you on that -- secretary of the interior, depaul and, confirmed that despite the -- implementation of the previous
administration, entered apartment will release a proposed program. the next step in the five-year offshore energy planning process by june 30th 2022, which is the expiration of the current program. the proposed program is not it is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development. so they're going, the proposal, but it doesn't guarantee they're going to do any leasing at all. >> chairman, but i could say is, is i believe what that is saying is that it's the plan that's coming out but there is a -- >> ethical preference to get it by saying. after. you are acknowledging the plan. you have a plan by june 30th, but he went further to say, that doesn't mean that your issuing any specific leases. if you have a plan, you should have, i mean we've never done this. this is history. we've never done that before, not lasting, not issue leases. if you put a plan out. plan has always been a long term five year plan to lease.
>> i don't, i don't believe that is saying that we are not going to do any of those things i. i think it is, i think it is -- >> maybe i'm reading it wrong. have copies for everybody. >> i think it is saying that we are putting the plane out, but not saying -- >> with intent not to, in all honesty. i'm sorry, we're going to have to agree to disagree. i'm now back and forth. yes, sir is. >> senator, chairman, if i can just sort of be clear. >> okay. >> the five year plan process is a three-step process. the trump administration did the first step in 2018, and then they dropped the process, largely because their energy dominance rhetoric caused a lot of alarm, caused a lot of pushback. and, so it is appropriate for us to take a step, beautiful part as we think about potential future leasing described in the five-year program. but that statement says is by the end of june, we'll take
step number two. and it's just step number two in a three-step process. no decisions about leasing will be made until step number three. that's all that says. >> let me just say this. i am told that we always have your step one, what you intend to do on june 30th, a lot longer than the deadline. a lot of time in between. we would've had time to go take step two and three, and evaluate where you are going. you are sending a clear single that you are looking at what will provide the assured that we can continue to provide for ourselves in america. the clean energy coming from the gulf, but we are getting this at the last possible day, the last possible moment, knowing that there are also other steps to go through. it gives us no security. the timing is not right. you have taken as long as you possibly could. >> i hear you. it is, as the secretary said, we have a lot in our lab that we have to sort through. including the calming down of
american people when they put out a plan that caused a plane in the republican states, florida, along the atlantic coast. we have to unpack that. >> we understand we are in challenging times right now, but we have to send a clear signal that we can take care of ourselves in the united states. with that, senator cantwell. >> going back to the republican side. >> i wish i could be next. >> thank, you let's finish up this conversation on june the 30th, there is a release of the proposal. june 30th there is a release of a proposal that -- when's the earliest we can start leasing? i know there is a comment period coming back, in but when is the earliest based on this proposal that we can actually start leasing? the five year plan is said to be done by that point. it's not done, it's a proposal. one is the earliest
we could actually start leasing? >> senator, thank you for the question. we develop and release the develop and release of the proposed draft the programmatic environmental impact statement followed by a 90-day public comment period. we incorporate those comments into the development publishing of the proposed vinyl program. they final programmatic espn can be approved by me and adopted 60 days after that. we plan to propose, have the proposed program by june 30th, it's another 90 plus 60 150 days after that -- probably >> you're saying by the end of this year by december 31 at that point, in that calendar, you would be able to start leasing at that point? >> i will absolutely keep you abreast of the progress that we are making. make sure that this committee knows --
>> is it? when is the deadline on, to be able to start leasing, actually? to have this point done? >> i don't have -- i mean, i don't think there is an actual deadline. >> that is the concern, actually, that all of us have. there is no deadline. the proposal to talk about it is coming on the date that it should be done. this is going to again stretch out for two or three years of talking about it. we are trying to figure out when it's the deadline to actually start leasing? >> we will absolutely keep you informed. >> there is not a deadline on it? >> not at this moment. let me run a couple things past you. we have a military base in oklahoma has a large energy, a fountain of natural gas actually. it has been a priority for d. o. d. to make their bases more independent for energy at this point. we have been trying to get technical assistance from your office for the last five months to try to get the details of this. can you commit to me that we will be able to get some
technical assistance? this is the priority of d. o. d., obviously of our state, but we are waiting on your team to be able to finish this out. >> i am so sorry if you have been waiting on us. i will absolutely make sure that someone reaches out to your staff this afternoon. >> it would be very helpful. we are dealing with the same -- osc minister of council. a tribal very dependent on ba. we have had multiple decisions that have been delayed for a long time. this also deals with the remediation of the plugging, all kinds of other things with the await mineral council. it seems to just be delay, delay, the latest we just got back with sometime in june. sometime we just want to decision on that. >> i want you to know that assistant secretary brian newman has been in touch with the tribe recently. he will continue to work with them. >> that was the letter that says we will get back to you and june. we've seen that letter as well from ryan. they are just trying to figure out when they are going to get answers. right now, they are just getting we will give you an answer at a future date.
they are trying to get resolution on this. in the southwest, you may have heard about this, we try to give an update to your team we were asking about this, the administration talks a lot about critical mineral development. in the southwest there is a company that is trying -- that has gone through the leasing process to actually do leasing since 2017 on lithium in that area. now there is a pretty dramatic change, there has been withholding of the core of their lithium deposits. they are now saying, you can do all of your development but not in the core the project itself is being held out. all they are looking for is the information of how this decision is made and what they can actually get public about the actual mineral process itself. all they want is engagement. they are not getting the engagement at this point. these lithium deposits, i understand we are trying to go after. again it's just engagement to be able to do this. one more thing, you talked about the leasing on shore. you said that you are
trying to work with the different and cities on trying to get the best possible leases out there. the ranking member had mentioned before in wyoming that they are dealing with the frustration of the best possible leases, not the ones not being allowed. it's the one that is far away from the infrastructure. i am interacting with companies that are saying there is a checkerboard of leases, yes they are producing, but they have a lease and they can't get the lease around it. they are not gonna go developed at least until they know that they can lisa rounded. this checkerboard is not being made available to them. they are saying, just drill on what you've got. we are not gonna do long term intensive development there, bring in additional employees, bring in additional supplies, until we know we can actually connect these leases and due door development. that is not being allowed by a team. they have reached out multiple times to the team to say, will you talk to us about these leases being made available? the answers they are getting is zero. they are not getting a
response at all on it. the frustration here is, making the right leases available to actually least which is next to enter energy which is being developed, where the actual infrastructure is. again, this has the appearance for the future of we don't want more development in the area. we wanted to be more expensive and harder to get to the leases. rather than the less expense leases where we know we have reserves in the infrastructure being made available. >> thank you, thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. i will absolutely make sure that my staff reaches out to you. and reaches out to them. i apologize for that. for that non communication. >> thank you. we all want to be able to get more energy. our prices depend on it at this point, able to get access to that. >> senator cantwell. >> mister chairman, thank. you madam secretary, good to see you. i wanted to get three things covered if i could. first is the fire season. we have gotten from the incident,
predictive services wet fiver season will look like. significant fire threat above normal for august. sorry, i don't have a larger chart there but you can see obviously my eye goes to washington right away. the central part of our state, which is where we are always concerned. although i'm pretty sure that red area goes all the way over to spoken. i want to ask you about whether predictive's. 73% of the fires that were started in our state were started from lightning strikes. weather and weather predictive issues matter. senator, sullivan and i just introduced a bill to upgrade the noaa weather forecasting capabilities to give us more accurate data. this is helpful not only in cashing services in advance whenever we know that fires are going to be, also protection of our firefighting personnel. we had an incident
where probably we would've been listening to forecasting in seattle, we would've sent people out -- high winds but the forecast are on the ground in the okanagan didn't think the winds were going to be that high. obviously we ended up with fatality that day. what will interior do to work with no end to better integrate forecasting capabilities in the operation in management? >> thank you very much, senator. you're absolutely right, better forecasting hand fire managers in planning and the firefighting efforts on the ground. we work with no all the time. we are, we work with our colleagues across the federal government for issues such as this. i will make sure that we are reaching out to noah specifically on this issue and doing all we can. >> if we need and mou, whatever we call it in the government i hope we do that because it's important. the second map is on
drought conditions. again, you would think rainy seattle? what do you talking about? the central part of our state, the big agricultural basin, i really start worrying about we when we look at what is going on in ukraine. the wheat production in washington and idaho is quite significant, we were hearing from our wheat growers that -- i mean, we are still in drought conditions. that is why we have fought for funding and technologies to look at awkward for recharge. do you believe that getting this program up and running as soon as possible would be helpful in water source substitutions in the west? >> thank you so much for the question. first, i just want to say that our teen tanya trujillo, our assistant secretary for water in science, her team is in such close contact with every state. folks on the ground with respect to
this terrible drought in the west. they work on that every single day. certainly reclamation is currently assessing the eligibility process for funding in needs. thank you, every tool in the tool box as what we need to use with respect to this drought. senator heinrich mentioned it's the worst it's been in 1200 years. i just want you to know that we are doing everything that we possibly can. we appreciate you bringing -- >> i think the recharge idea is a great idea. i also think we should get on quickly. the chairman had a meeting, i was unable to attend, on canadian cooperation and issues related to mining. to me, it showcases how canada has been successful at hard-won mining because they have had a royalty system. i do want us to work on critical minerals together. these are essential to key technologies
from cobalt, lithium, to photo cells, to earth mineral magnets that are used in wind and electric vehicles. we need to focus on making sure the u.s. is competitive incredible mineral markets and find innovative ways and environmentally responsible way to do that, including recycling of these materials. do you think that this royalty issue should be addressed here? can you please describe how the department can support both mineral development on public lands while ensuring it's appropriate places and what you think about the royalty issue? >> thank you senator. very, very, proud to lead the united states geological survey. there is a team of scientists there that work on this issue everything all day. they, understand the presidents leadership with respect to
critical minerals and our clean energy technology that we are moving towards. also, the inter agency workgroup -- they worked recently i was at their first meeting. working to make recommendations to all of us on how we can be more efficient. the mining law is 150 years old. has not had any changes since then. it is pretty clear that our country has changed and so, i am happy that they have a chance to work on that. we will take all those do you anybody want to take a comment on the royalty issue?
senator cassidy. thank you all. this imagine somebody is watching on c-span right now. and they're hearing two sides, if you will, of the chairman all the way over, speaking about how this administration air peers to have a concerted effort to block oil and gas development. and you deny it, but the fact that you deny it suggests that you agree that if we had more production it could help lower the price at the pump and lower the fuel prices, the air conditioning, the heating prices, for the folks at home. now, that mom who is watching on c-span, wondering how she is going to pay for a gasoline, is wondering who believe. i think it is critical. apparently all agree that if we increase production that there might be some positive benefit upon the prices that she is paying at the pump and for her fuel bill.
so let me just put up some actions of this administration that kind of put it out there, if you will. the first week that president biden came in he canceled the keystone xl pipeline shipping oil from our closest ally down to the gulf coast to be processed in an environmentally sensitive way. halted all new oil and gas leasing. killed the five-year offshore leasing program. frankly your administration is populated with people who hate fossil fuel. invalidated golf detail to 57. did not appeal. pressured financial markets into abandoning financing for fossil fuel projects. i could keep going! now, i've got ten up there, i could probably have 20. so, one i hear we are doing everything possible but -- who am i going to believe? my lying eyes or is this just not making
sense to me. and mr. beaudreau, if you say you couldn't go to lease sales because you had to clean up all the uncertainty that had been created by the previous administration along the atlantic, along florida, et cetera, we are talking about gulf coast leave sales, not the eastern golf, about the central and western gulf. well, i think it's our job to make sure that we are reaching out to. . ,,,,. .
so for the first person is watching, madam secretary, is it more environmentally that you've mentioned climbing several times in a notice for the administration to consider biden patients's top. here comes for also feel development, it comes blowing the gas, the price of gas, and climbing to stop. okay, that's a priority, we can accept that priority. is it more environmentally friendly to develop and produce oil and gas resources off the coast of louisiana, or is it more environmentally friendly to develop those resources, say, in venezuela, or in another country abroad in? terms of emissions, in terms of climate? >> senator, would i can say is that i think that in our
country, we care deeply about our workers. >> that's not my question, my question is what has the lowest emissions profile according to louisiana workers, and our intercontinental shelf, with american companies and regulations. venezuelan standards, and venezuelan crude. >> senator, i am not an economist or engineer, or scientists, but with respect to -- >> i'm almost at the time, and i get a sense that this question will not be answered straightforwardly, no offense. there is a national lab that determined that the national profile off the coast of louisiana, is the lowest in the world. that oil is processed in louisiana. and yet, these are the countries that we are asking to produce oil and gas, as opposed to us, with our workers, and our lowest standards.
this is the crazy thing, if you're concerned about climate, you should be producing in louisiana. lastly, mr. bojo, you mentioned that a production is now higher, that's not true in the gulf of mexico. in the gulf of mexico, relative to when this administration took office, we are down about 300,000 barrels a day in the va literature from february. that is pretty significant decrease, 300,000 barrels a day. maybe you have something later than what is online with eia, but these administrations all points to assault to american oil and gas production, is hurting a person that is watching c-span at home, hurting the jobs being created, and is hurting the international environment. with that, i yield. >> chairman, can i address the
last point. >> in a matter of statistics, in calendar year 2020, there were 614, about 615 million oils of oil produced in the gulf of mexico. in the calendar year 21, there were 20 -- production -- far from blocking production, we have seen production both onshore and offshore increase on public lands during this administration. >> can i respond to, that that is being a little disingenuous, and it's typical of this conversation. there is a huge decrease when covid hit, and so you are factoring in that lowest month, when covid hit, and production fell all over. and now, you are saying, but the next year, we do better. but we had an artificial low. if you want to look at month to month, in january of 2020, there was 1 million, and
988,000 barrels of oil produced per month in the gulf. and, now at least in february, is 1,000,615. that takes that covid law, and it only looks at the economy, what is happening? that's a more accurate analysis. >> if the hypothesis is that the administration is doing everything it can to block and prevent production, the data does not bear that. >> i disagree with, that i can show my first poster again. we will agree to disagree. >> senator kelly. >> thank you, chairman, and cassidy, as an engineer who looked at the data, i can confirm that the amount of carbon that has resulted from production offshore, from louisiana, is a lot less than what comes from venezuela. secretary haaland, i want to thank you for today's announcement that the department will produce a draft plan for the offshore gas and
oil leasing program. in some parts of arizona, the price of a gallon of gas is above $5 a gallon, well above the national and bridge, too expensive for hardworking families. they have to commute to work, and take their kids to school, struggle to buy medicine and groceries. as the chairman manchin mentioned in his opening remarks, the two of us that senator manchin wrote a letter to the president, the -- for actual oil development in the gulf of mexico. in these five-year programs, as you know, madam secretary, are important. they designate which areas are open to development. they send a signal to the market, as well, and to investors that the federal government has a framework in place for improving future projects. your announcement that you will produce a draft five-year offshore plan next month is helpful. how soon will we get a finalized plan for the
department of interior? >> thank you for the question, senator, and as i mentioned earlier, we are working expeditiously to move this forward. my team, i won't go through all of the steps, but we essentially had to start from scratch on this issue. there are several other steps after the draft that came out on june 30th. that would be followed by a 90-day public comment period. followed by another final programmatic a i.s., it could be adopted 60 days later. we are happy to keep you updated on our progress on this issue, and we'll be happy to keep you updated. >> based on the 90 days plus the 60 days, it looks like the
earliest would be november 30th? is there any way to accelerate that? >> as i mentioned, we are working expeditiously. >> thank you madam secretary, i want to transition a little bit too drought, and water in the west. we are experiencing the worst drought in 1200 years, and it has been going on for two decades. the supply of the colorado river water is tightening faster than experts predicted. we have already, in arizona, curtailed about a third of our share voluntarily, of the colorado river water. lake powell was so low that the glenn canyon dam is getting close to not being able to generate power anymore. that energy, renewable energy, goes to 5 million people in six states.
the department of interior budget request for dread contingency operations in the basin totals 18 point $7 million. that funding would be used for water conservation, and fouling of land to stabilize water levels in lake powell, in lake mead. the presidents request for drug contingency operations is simply not enough. 18 point $7 million is not enough money for this. can you work with us to re-examine this budget item? >> senator, we are always happy to work with you, and i do want to recognize how terrible this drought is. i am from new mexico, and you see the fires that are happening because of it. and so yes, we are always happy, more than happy to work with you. >> we are on the verge of another horrible fire season as well, i know in new mexico you had the first or second of the
worst fires in the state's history, that was just burning a few weeks ago, at the time it was burning we had three major fires in the state of arizona, this is related to how dry the states, our states are, we have to solve this water problem. it's not going to solve itself, we just can't hope for this drug to end, and we need more help from the administration. thank you, madam secretary. >> senator lee. >> thank you mister chairman, i understand that you will be in utah for the signing of the now of a water rights agreement, i want to thank you for your collaboration on that issue. madam secretary, in january of 2021, shortly after he took office, president biden told the american public that he was posing this move moratorium on oil and gas leasing. he informed him that it would be contingent upon a report to
be produced by your department. the department of the interior. regarding the oil and gas leasing programs. a couple things have happened since then. one, the report has been produced, and released by your department, the other is that there has been a court order, concluding that the president lacked the authority to issue this moratorium to begin with. your department chose not to appeal that court ruling. now, does the president want to continue the gas and leasing moratorium? >> senator, there is not a moratorium. >> there is not one, you're saying that he does not want to continue one? it is important, some might suggest, the leasing is resumed,
but that kind of assumes facts not evidence, number, one offshore leasing has not resumed. you have cut onshore leasing by 80%, and at the same time, imposed a 50% royalty hike. that will be passed on to americans tumors in the midst of an energy crisis, in which they are tired of paying $5, seem to be six-dollar gas. would you advise the president to reinstate the oil and gas leasing moratorium, yes or no? there is not a moratorium now. >> there is not one now, but it seems like there is a defect moratorium going on. noah showed leasing, and onshore has been restricted by 80% with further discouragement, provided by a 50% royalty increased, passed on to consumers who are tired of
paying $5, seem to be $6 gas. we have seen these attacks on oil and gas industries, and just last week, the department canceled three scheduled auctions that would have opened up space in alaska is cook up, cook inlet. and the gulf of mexico. a couple of interesting things about this, gina mccarthy, the white house climate adviser, told a cbs reporter that and offshore lease sale had been canceled. she did so before the cancellation was even made public. did you authorize miss mccarthy to make that statement, that announcement. >> i don't believe that i spoke with miss mccarthy. >> you did not authorize it? >> just last month, miss mccarthy old so told msnbc that president biden remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands. do you agree with miss mccarthy as to that statement, yes or no? >> senator, i am working to
leave the department of the interior, -- >> do you agree with the statement or not? >> i don't know. i did not speak with miss mccarthy, i don't speak with them about any statements that they make. >> i didn't ask that, i asked whether you agreed within? you said i don't know, a perfectly legitimate answer i suppose, but definitely troubling. with respect to the cook inlet lease, which was canceled, your department, the department of the interior, signed a quote, lack of industry interest in at least. it seems to me that industry interest cannot really reasonably be engaged, or gauged at all until the extent or value of the bids are made clear. does this mean you're going to force companies to tip their hand, show their cards, every time they want to pursue a leasing opportunity?
>> i think it is our job to make sure that we are reaching out to companies that we are engaging their interest by speaking with them, and if we -- if there is no interest, and it does not make sense to move forward. >> the cook inlet lays, yes or no, would be a relatively low producing lease, correct? >> i grew up looking out on cook inlet. i will say, there is a long history of leases, knees -- >> not my question. low producing or high producing? not responsive to my question, the answer relative to others, it's a relatively small one. interestingly enough, the department of the interior determined that it's draft-y i.s., it's draft-y i.s. concluded that even offering this relatively small ease in the cook inlet, oil prices
would rise by about 1%. this is your department, oh the prices would rise by about one cent per gallon. prepare. >> it withheld those leases anyway, in the midst of the energy crisis, soon to be $6 a gallon gas. many gas companies are recalibrating the registers, so that they can actually keep up with the charges of $10 or more a gallon gas. the golf leases, they are much larger. they are huge. department conduct an announcement of how much higher oil prices would go as the result of the cancellation of the skillful eases? madam secretary, yes or no? >> i would have to get to that answer, senator, i don't, i couldn't tell you at the moment. >> it will be very brief.
in january, a federal judge invalidated lease sale, 2:57, based on your department, the department of the interior, doing insufficient environmental analysis. you chose not to appeal that decision. none of those leases will be awarded or drilled. look, as i look at this as a longtime appellate lawyer i suspect that, likely, one of two explanations for this. either you are happy with the result, you liked the result, or alternatively the environmental work that you did on this was sloppy. so, which wasn't? >> when i could say about that is our solicitors consult with the department of justice on these issues, they make that determination on whether an appeal should take place. >> we have a department that is
determined to not allow oil and gas leaking. they have hiked royalties. they have taken things out of eligibility for leasing. this is coming at great expense to the american people who are paying dearly for it. the american people deserve better. >> senator. >> thank you. >> thank you senator. senator hickenlooper. >> thank you mister chair. secretary haaland, i can only imagined the difficulty of someone who has served locally for the state of new mexico, and search for this country in congress to be on the receiving end of such pointed questions you'll. any appointed person knows it is always a difficult balance of how to interpret what the white house or what others are saying. i feel a remarkable empathy for the process going forward. it doesn't want to make me stop about the u.s. geological
survey, the 23% which is not enough of an increase! i'm just kidding. i think it is a long overdue increase. i think as we are going through this great energy transition i think what's senator lee and so many other people are concerned about, i think there is an urgency on this committee to make sure that we have a balanced approach. as we get to a clean energy economy as quickly as we can, we want to make sure that we don't, you know, balance that on the back of working people who cannot afford to spend $100 or even $80 to fill up their cars. another parallel this is, essential minerals. what we call critical minerals. they are hard to find here. we are heavily reliant on imports, as you know. somehow we need to decrease our reliance on foreign countries and figure out how to improve our domestic
supply chain. i saw that the budget request, within the u. s. geological survey, is for supply chain research. related to critical minerals. i realize, you are not going to be able to give all the details. mr. goudreau perhaps you can hop in on this but would that look like? how can the department of interior help bolster our domestic critical mineral supply chain? >> thank you for asking. senator, i just first i want to say that i recognize how difficult times are for people. i was a single mom, i understand whatever one is talking about. thank you for letting me say that. so, the bipartisan infrastructure law made a major investment in the u.s. geological survey earth mri program. spending 300 and $20 million over five years.
the bipartisan infrastructure law also set a ten year in the struggle for that program, the earth mri. we expect to have a map of the majority of areas believed to have some surface critical mineral potential. if during that time or within that time, we will develop than a first generation national mine waste inventory. we are working -- i also mentioned earlier in the inter agency work group that wants to move the efficiency of that forward. i don't know if tommy would like to say anything. >> now, i agree. it is as directed by the president, one of the primary goals of the inter agency working group. move forward on domestic sourcing, including through mining but also through new technology development, as well as recycling -- to source these
materials. it is also, you know i know you know this better than anyone, senator hickenlooper, part of the challenges being saddled with the 1872 mining law. with renewable energy, we can have a leasing program that the conflicts resource, potential resources from tribal conflicts, wildlife conflicts, etc. we are not able to do that under the 1872 mining law. one of the things we will be working with congress on is to modernize the law. not every century maybe every other century we should take a look at those laws and update them. >> i think you will have some eager participants here. secretary haaland, i would be remiss if i didn't talk about your efforts. i know that there
is progress being made, again mr. booed or you can chime in. the expanded leadership in grand junction western headquarter among, we want to make sure -- you are making sure that there is adequate presence in washington d. c. balance with that expanded leadership in the grand junction western headquarters. how is the delight going to be able to offer concrete information on not just the number of employees but the leadership employees of the grand junction western [inaudible] as we go forward. >> thank you senator, i know we have talked about this a number of time. i have always been so happy to visit colorado when i have had those opportunities. you know i traveled to grand junction, i had a meeting with the employees there. in person, over the internet. [laughs] because we were still in covid. you probably know that the blm started a employee advisory group. they are working right
now to make those recommendations for all of the potential recommendations for the western headquarters. we will absolutely be reviewing those recommendations soon and expect to be able to announce those roles possibly the numbers sometime in the near future. if you want to reach out to us, anytime, we are happy to give you an update on where we are on that. i think we are in pretty close contact with your staff and your office. i think your staff is probably tired from your phone calls, but we do appreciate your visits, multiple visits to colorado. we are warmly received from republican, democrat, the willingness to go out to green junction and meet with people in their own town, in their own home, it really spoke volumes. it was time very well spent, we appreciate it. i will yield back to the chair. >> thank you senator. senator hyde-smith. >> thank you mister chairman, thank you for being here today. being the senator from mississippi to want to talk
about the gulf of mexico. i'm in very, very, close contact with the producers down there. the companies that are concerned about these leases. you know, offshore oil and gas production in the gulf of mexico has proven so many times that it's the cleanest on the planet due to the stringent environmental safety standards that we have to meet down there. it provides 15% of the u.s. production. it is a critical source of reliable and affordable energy. despite these benefits, the leases required are being canceled at a time when our nation is suffering from a record high gasoline crisis. at the same time, president biden claims his administration's policies are not holding back domestic energy production. we have charts of the decline of the gulf of mexico. 5% since january of 2021. my question to you is, madam secretary, what
does your department have against utilizing this gulf of mexico production for domestic energy? this makes no sense, whatsoever. can you just explain to me what your department has against utilizing this? >> senator, i don't -- i mean, i don't, we are perfectly -- moving forward on all of the work that we have to. we don't prioritize you known, one lease over the other. one area over the other. i'm not exactly sure -- we don't have anything against the gulf of mexico.
>> why where the leases to cancel just a week before last? why were those two leases canceled? >> i'm not sure, >> same time the alaskan lease was canceled. canceled three, two from the gulf of mexico, one from alaska. wow are the two in the gulf of mexico canceled? >> thank you senator. it was likely because of the conflicting litigation that is happening. is that, i believe that is what you could be talking about. the case of the two gulf lease sales, conflicting litigation made it extremely difficult to move forward. given the legal parameters that we were trying to deal with at the timelines and so forth. >> so are you willing to work to improve this, this decline of 5% since 2021? do you increase the leases in the gulf of mexico? >> i know that we are working hard -- as i mentioned many times even before this
committee during my confirmation hearing, we are working very hard to balance the use of public lands, knowing that they are public and they belong to every single american. also, we know that we are working hard to with the fossil fuel programs to take climate change into account. i appreciate all of the, the information from you and senator cassidy about the durability and cleanness of the gulf of mexico oil. i am more than happy to make sure that we continue to work with your office moving forward. >> i'm gonna get on to my next
question then. the piece that was passed along, we got a hold of that early this morning. christopher got a hold of that. your department inform my staff this morning that it would release the draft proposal on june the 30th. i suppose that that should be good news but i'm just interested in whether or not this is an admission that the department will fail to meet the june 30th deadline for the final five-year program? >> considering the fact that we essentially had to start from scratch on this program as we mentioned, the previous administration stopped in 2018 and did not do any more work on it. we picked that up when we got into office. >> i mean, is this and admission that you are not going to meet that final draft deadline of june the 30th. >> yes, the final draft will not be out by june 30th.
>> okay, i have one minute. the white house recently stated that the president policy is to ban additional leasing. that is from an april 19th statement from the white house press secretary. it is not in line with the presidents policy, which is to ban additional leasing. we've seen the obvious detrimental effect of this misguided policy, having on all american families. does the interior department agree with such a policy? >> senator, what i can say is that i am guided by the law. >> okay -- >> it is clear violation of your departments requirement to prepare and maintain a five-year program for the
offshore leasing in development. so you agree with the law, are you saying that you are in compliance with this now? >> we are working on it, given the fact of the conflicting litigation that we had, the fact that the process was stopped by 2018 for three years. we had to pick it back up again. >> my time is a, thank you mister chairman. >> thank you, senator king. >> i want to return to the budget. [laughs] which, as i recall -- >> not return, you're the first one! >> started us off. >> yeah, okay 0. 1 is, quit deferring maintenance in the national parks. the budget that you propose, i'm happy that you propose it but it's 2. 8 billion dollars for 400 billion dollars worth of assets, it's less than 1%. general industry standard is two to 4% of value for maintenance. we went through a lot of effort time and struggle to pass the bipartisan great american outdoors act a big part of which was to tackle deferred maintenance. but stop digging the whole, okay? i hope that
what you can do is come back with a revised request or work with us to increase the maintenance budget, it is not adequate. 2. 8 billion on 400 billion dollars worth of assets is not adequate. it is pretty frustrating for someone who really worked hard on the great american outdoors act to see the missed ration continuing a pattern, i'm not blaming this administration, this goes back 30 40 years! continuing a pattern of under funding maintenance. therefore, we are going to have to do this again at some point in the future! i don't want to do that. let's do our maintenance as we should, right now. >> thank you. >> the second point, national park service staffing there is increases in the budget -- again, they are not adequate. senator daines and i have made a recommendation that there should be 23,000 full-time equivalence based on visitation rights and historical visitation rights. the problem is visitation keep going up and
staffing keep staying the same. it's not fair to the visitors, to the park service staff that are being stressed and overworked. i had a chart in at yellowstone for example staffing is pretty much the same as it was in 2011. attendance has almost doubled. this is true at acadia, yosemite, it's true across the country. so that is the second point is i'd like to work with you in increasing staffing numbers because, again it is not fair to the visitors and to the staff to put them in that position. i hope you will work with me on that. >> absolutely, yes. we absolutely agree. i have traveled to a number of national parks across the country. it is a similar story in many places. thank you. i mean, i'm happy that people are getting out to our national parks. >> i am too. but we have to got
to maintain them and have them adequately staffed in order to maintain the experience. final point following the leadership of my other colleagues i'm gonna depart from the budget for a minute. offshore wind is an enormously important potential energy source. virtually all, if not all of the offshore wind proposals that are out there have one thing in common. they are not really offshore wind. they are onshore wind, in the water. in other words they go to the ground. the towers go into the seabed. the university of maine has been working for 14 years to develop a proposal for a floating offshore wind capacity, which could be a enormous breakthrough, because it opens up a much bigger area for potential offshore wind development. they have a proposal in that they've been working with the department of energy on for many years. the department of energy has made a
significant investment. this is a technical matter and perhaps we need to talk to your counsel. but senator collins and i wrote to you about this project. the response was we are working on it but we have to issue a request for other proposals because under this statute we have to look for competition. the question is, what is the meaning of the word competition? we believe it's competition for a research array, which is what this project is. not a commercial array, a research array. we hope that this can be expedited. i believe this is one of the most important energy independence, clean energy projects in the country, or in the world. because offshore wind that is on a floating platform would be an enormous breakthrough. i hope that he will go back and talk to the people in the bureau of ocean energy management about expediting this process, following the statute to be
sure, but not opening up to a link the competitive project for commercial use, which isn't what this project is. >> i understand, thank you senator. i will absolutely take that message back to--. >> i just want you to know that senator collins and i are absolutely committed to this project. we want to do the research. maine has the highest percentage of fisheries related income to any state in the country. one of the things that want to know is what is the impact on fisheries? our fishing community is concerned about that. the only way we are going to know this is if we can do the research necessary. again, that is one of the reasons we want to move forward on this. i appreciate your commitment, i'm going to hold you to it. >> thank you. yes, and we are committed to offshore wind. in fact, we have been working extremely hard and have had some tremendous success in offshore wind projects. moving
forward, i was in california and they were also talking about loading wind turbines that they could tell out to the middle of the ocean. so i'm happy to see the technology and research moving forward. i appreciate your interest in it. i make sure i speak with amanda about this issue. >> thank you, we are ready to do it. and we'd really like to see an acceleration of the process within the constraints of the statute. thank. you >> senator murkowski. >> thank you, mister chairman. madam secretary, i think it's important that i am here as the last member of this committee to ask my questions because so much of what my colleagues have hit on, unfortunately, comes back to my home state of alaska. the front page of the anchorage daily news this morning talks about high fuel
costs, the village of noatak is paying $15. 99 for fuel. their stove oil is now at $16. 47. throughout alaska we are about $5 a gallon. this is not just alaska, hours of just more extreme. as you know it has an impact on the most vulnerable. unfortunately this headline follows the headline earlier this past week with the announcement of the cancellation of the cook inlet leases. and again, if you are concerned about your energy prices and you live -- you are one of the 400,000 people that live in the south central area that rely on natural gas coming out of cook inlet, now we are seeing the articles following about how the producers are going to be able to fulfill the contract for natural gas for people, there, in that region. they are wondering what is going to happen on that front. but they know that this news follows what we have seen with the actions of the biden
administration with regards to the npra and basically taking half of npra off line. this follows of the biden administration when the anwr leases that we had worked so hard to facilitate were polled this follows the news in regard to the road this and limiting any opportunity for economic development in the southeastern part of the state just yesterday in the anchorage daily news. an article states that the feds are suing the state of alaska over subsistence unprecedented to the federal legislation against the state of alaska. it is cumulative where you have to understand where the average alaskan is looking at the news,
they are seeing what they are paying, and they are saying this makes no sense whatsoever. we can understand if there is an administration that has a keen focus on climate. we appreciate the issues related to climate and what we need to be doing to address it. but in but what is happening in the state of alaska people are being driven out of their homes, driven out of their communities, and driven out of the state because of these policies that clearly appear to shut down energy production in and a resource rich state. i want to ask about the cook inlet leases and about the anwr project. you have cited that the cook inlet
leases have been canceled because of lack of interest from the scoping and the draft eis period. your department told my office that this decision was based off of lack of industry comment during the scoping period which took place in september of 2020, when we were in the middle of a pandemic, when oil was $40 a barrel, natural gas was $1. 92. the commentary that we have received since this announcement from state oil and gas association, research development council, the state of alaska and the most significant producer in the inlet is that there was -- they submitted their comments, they submitted their interest, and it appears that those were not considered. can you share with me what kind of a reach out the department actually did to determine a level of interest
in cook inlet? >> thank you for the question, senator. it's my understanding that no specific companies expressed interest in the sale both over 2020 and 2021, when oil prices had essentially recovered from the covid impact. and while those associations did comment, only specific companies bid on the leases. and that is a key indication to the team of the interest in the area. >> and again, i think this would follow, i think it's senator lee who might have mentioned the point, that if there isn't an opportunity to know whether these are even going to materialize, it makes it difficult to provide for comment. i'm close on time, and i know we have votes that have already started. i want to ask you about the ambler road. because this is something we had several members of the committee, speaking to the issue of critical minerals.
senator cantwell, senator hickenlooper have raised it. the administration has been very, very open in embracing the fact that this country needs to produce more of our critical minerals. couldn't agree more. but on the same day that the president lays down his executive order on minerals, your department push to reopen the record of decision for the ambler project that -- well, this is not a mine, this would provide access to a mining district. shortly thereafter, blm suspends the project's right of way agreement which was granted back in 2021. and now this week, the courts have granted your departments request to go back and do more
nepa analysis. data applied for the antler right away the a-10 analysis spanned two administrations, nearly six decades out there. now, it feels that we are even further behind, we are hearing that doi is considering further actions now to cancel the right away and to stall out this project. we are in a situation where there is no amount of assurance that i seem to be able to gain, to tell alaskans that blm is not dragging their feet on this project. so i would like your commitment that will doi will stop being a roadblock, ensure this project can move forward. again, this is helping to not only address the nation's needs for minerals but the president himself has stated that this is a goal of his administration. so i need to know that you will work with us aggressively, that
you will stick to the timelines that will allow for this important road to continue and, as the court has indicated that they want to require a status report every 60 days, continuing out, i need your commitment that you are going to keep us informed with the same briefings at these same intervals. >> senator, we are always happy to reach out and be in touch with your office. i know that we are consistently in touch with the staff in your office aned we're more than happy to continue that. if you have issues that you want to discuss with us, we are happy to do that. with respect to ambler there were two issues, a subsistence analysis and tribal
consultation. tthose two things needed to be done correctly. that is what we are working on. i appreciate that, we will absolutely be in touch with you on that issue. >> i would ask, also, that you would look very carefully as to the, the activity that can be conducted during this limited field season coming up. there are activities that resulted in no disturbance that i would hope that the department, the blm would be working with those to help facilitate that. >> thank you, senator. senator hirono. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, secretary. mahalo, as we say in hawaii. thank you for your work to uplift all native americans. during your work income grist in now as the secretary to the interior you have worked to appropriately include federal hawaiians in
federal policies, regulations, and law, including in the recent report on federal indian boarding schools that shed some light on the abuse inflicted on native children in the attempt to kill native culture, language, and identity. your work demonstrates the importance of honoring the federal government's trust responsibility owed to all native americans. of course, that includes american indians, alaska natives, and native hawaiians. i hope that you will continue to improve the department's efforts to appropriately include native hawaiians in federal programs and the departments work in the federal community in particular i hope it's department and partners will include native hawaiians and its work to address the crisis around missing and murdered indigenous people. inhonoring missing and murdered indigenous people day this may fifth, the office of
hawaiian affairs she and the following information about hawaii. native hawaiian women and girls who represent 67 to 77% of sex trafficking victims identified in recent studies. native hawaiians also represent 37% of reported child sex trafficking cases. these numbers are appalling and unacceptable. i ask you to join me in working together to address this urgent problem and to end this abuse against native hawaiians. >> thank you for your commitment. madam secretary, i appreciate the funding that the administration is requesting in the fiscal year 23 budget to pay for our obligation under the compacts of the free association. as you know, should negotiations not conclude before financial assistance provisions of the compact expire in 2023 in 2024, that financial assistance will end. thus there is a sense of urgency to completing these negotiations in a timely manner. our committee recently held a hearing to discuss the nomination of ambassador cantor
as assistant secretary of insular and international affairs. could you talk briefly about the importance of confirming ambassador cantor in ensuring the negotiations be concluded in a timely manner. how else can congress help the departments effort to extend these compacts? >> thank you so much. the president has nominated an excellent candidate. we are doing all we can to support her confirmation process. i also recognize the priority for national security and economic reasons for that is why we need to move this forward. i met with ambassador yun, who is working on this issue as well. he is positive that he can move forward with it in an expeditious manner. it is a priority for us, senator. i just want to assure you that we
are treating it as such. >> thank you, because it is very clear that these compacts are critical aspects of our national security. those issues come before the armed services committee. but the compact itself and the negotiation come to you and to the state department, so there is sort of a bifurcation. it's really important for everyone to be working together to make sure that these compacts are negotiated fairly and that we live up to our obligations to our compact friends. the doi's announcement earlier this week that over 14 million from the bipartisan infrastructure law are being directed towards to save our native hawaiian forest birds, and that was welcome news. in order to prevent these species from going extinct we must use controlled the mosquito population that is spreading deadly avian malaria throughout these populations while also trans locating and breeding the remaining few
native birds. and unfortunately, as so many of these situations, time is not on our side. can you discuss how that 2023 budget compliments those infrastructure funds to ensure that the department can carry out these efforts? also, can you discuss how the various bureaus, the fish and wildlife, service, the -- the u.s. geological survey, the parks department, are all working together to protect the species? >> thank you, senator. yes, you're for us birds are incredibly important to us. we know how important they are to the ecosystem, everything works together. we are very happy to have partners with which to work to create safe havens for the birds. that also means controlling the mosquitoes which control that malaria. we want to establish captive
populations. that would be buying time, finding new ground for the birds new places for them to thrive. and of course developing the next generation tools to eradicate the mosquitoes. we absolutely appreciate the cultural importance of the birds that you have in hawaii and we are working on the ground with folks there who know the landscape and who know the ecosystem, so that we can do the best job possible. >> thank you, and mister chairman it is wonderful to have a secretary who understands the importance of cultural issues and environmental protections which is all part and parcel of making sure we pay appropriate attention to these issues. and thank you very much, madam secretary, for your commitment. >> thank you. >> thank you senator. now we are going to senator barrasso. >> madam secretary, on this question, do you believe that gas prices are too high? >> senator, i completely
understand the crunch that so many americans are under right now. i mean, thinking back up i > so it sounds that you are unwilling to say that gas prices are too high. because if you thought they were too high, i thought wonder what your department has done specifically to lessen this terrible pain that americans are suffering under these high gas prices? >> we are doing all we can, senator, as we have mentioned several times today. production on federal lands is up. it is a 45% increase from 2020. a 9%
increase from 2019. i'm sorry, that's new drilling -- that is up. the production is also up! it's at an all-time high. more than a billion barrels. >> let me switch to the drought that is hitting the west you mentioned it as well for your home state. it's a major issue in the west. on may 3rd, the bureau of reclamation announced a 500,000 acre feet of water would be released from flaming gorge reservoir in wyoming. that is going to lead to a nine foot drop in our reservoir
aren't big cities. no small communities. these are small communities, just as important, if not more so important, please answer yes or no. in making decisions regarding water in the west. you're from the west, new mexico, can you commit today that you will actually prioritize rural communities.? >> we prioritize rural communities in every way possible, senator. and if i could just say very quickly that my team is in constant contact with those folks in rural communities. the tribal governments, local governments, we know that we have to make the best decisions possible. there just isn't enough water. >> if i may -- >> i don't have the time to do
its, but thanks, mr. beaudreau, i look forward to seeing that in writing. secretary, you in previous testimony you said that clean energy is a priority for president biden. american energy is clean energy. this chart we have is a chart of the world bank data of howling flaring takes place in each country for how much oil is produced. that's been a big issue for president biden. as you can see the united states is one of the most environmentally responsible in the world. president biden wants to get out of venezuela. let's take a look. the intensity of the flaring that you, the administration, and democrats on this panel hate and say it's bad, 18 times as much done in venezuela as is done in the united states. the flaring rate in iran is seven times higher than it is in the united states. so why is president biden begging, truly begging our enemies for more dirty oil while you limit production of cleaner american oil on public hands at home in america? >> senators, certainly the
decisions such as dealing with foreign countries is left to president biden and perhaps the secretary of state. >> well, i'd recommend then, if he continues to talk about this that you clarify for the president, clarify his understanding. because you are the secretary of interior. you have made statements about wanting to produce clean energy. it seems that we do a much better job here in the united states than any of the rogue nations that president biden seems to be going hat in hand to, begging for energy to help supply our country with energy we already have right here. but your department and this president and, this administration will not allow us to get it out of the ground. >> thank you mister chairman. >> thank you senator. >> i'm gonna have to go blow. senator -- mowers on. we have senator hoeven coming up.
senator will hirono close out the hearing. then we just say on behalf. thank you, thank you. i know it's been tough. it's a tough one. i think you are feeling the frustration we all have. a lot of the things don't make sense. and we do want a cleaner energy, we want to clean environment but we have to use but we have to use in the cleanest fashion, showing that we can do it better than anybody else. but also, we can walk and chew gum. we can continue to go down to pass. investing in cleaner technologies that we need and making sure what we are producing and using now is clean. we just want security, and we want reliability, but we want to have technology and innovation. i want to thank all of you, i appreciate you being here. we've always had a great response. a good relationship, i want to keep that going. with that, senator hirono, you are in charge. >> thank you. senator marshall. >> thank you madam chair. i want to thank the chairman of the committee, senator manchin for his leadership. ranking member barrasso, as well. it
sounds like they've been talking to my friends and family back in kansas he would certainly agree with everything that they have said so far about this issue. madam secretary, welcome. at a really high level, when you are sitting down with your advisers, do you make it -- is it the goal to make it as hard as possible to drill new oil wells, new gas leases, on federal lands? and if that is not the case, when different policies are presented to you does anyone say, this will make it harder, this will make it easier, for american oil to be drilled on federal land? >> senator, the fact that things are harder or easier never enters a conversation. we are working hard to make sure that we have a balanced approach to our energy -- >> so you are telling me when you are having these discussions it won't tell you if that's gonna make it harder or easier for access to new leases? >> no.
>> okay. and is it your goal, is it your hope that there is more or less drilling on federal lands while you are the secretary of the interior? >> my goal is, as i mentioned, is to have a balanced approach to our public lands, to make sure we are doing the best job possible for the american people, considering that the public lands belong to them. >> does the affordability of energy, the cost of gas at the gas pump, the cost of utilities ever figure in your decision-making process? >> senator, i know exactly what it's like to be poor, quite frankly -- >> and so do i. i do too. but does it ever enter into your policy making? >> i bring my whole self to the job. >> your secretary mentioned panic a little bit ago. let me tell you what panic is. panic is $5 a gallon gasoline when you are single mom with two children and you're pregnant
and you don't have the gas money to get your ob appointment. they call me, i say i can't make it today can they just visit over the phone. panic is when my son, with two children under the age of 15 months say, dad, my utility bill doubled this past month. is there a problem out there? that's with the panic is. i'm not sure with the panic was you heard, we didn't hear it in kansas. i think your left liberal media was digging a panic. most of the country was not panic then. this is panic. today is panic. that's what is going on across this nation. i want to share with you what is creating the high price of oil right now. okay? i hope that you realize that it takes a year or two for an investment to turn into oil which is going to actually go to the refinery. whenever there is uncertainty, folks are not going to invest
in a business. if i was going to write a book on business, the first chapter would be about uncertainty the federal government specializes in uncertainty. and you're doing it with your policies. you offer elise, you pull it back. you offer these checkerboard leases -- it looks to me that you are perfectly picking and choosing and making a very hard for which leases you are going to offer, that when these companies spent tens of thousands of dollars in then you pull it away from them. the next uncertainty, can we can we get a permit to drill. and if we get a permit, can we get a permit to get our pipelines out of there? so all this adds to uncertainty and that is what is driving up the price. the price of oil is reflective on what is happening a year from now, not yesterday. that is why we have a decreased supply and these companies are ready to go forward. your policies are creating uncertainty. do you understand how your policy are creating uncertainty for american businesses? >> senator, thank you very much for letting us know the frustration that you are feeling and that your
constituents are feeling, and we understand. i just want to assure you that i am absolutely following the law. >> >> you don't care about the uncertainty and the cost of continuing to drive things up. i'm going to turn to lesser prairie chicken immediately. we talked about this before and the department is considering listing the letter prairie chicken. i would tell you in my estimation that it's never been better protected before, thanks to great help between the government as well as the private sector. what do you think the financial impact will be on the cost of utilities in kansas if you list the prairie chicken? >> senator, what i could say is that we always follow the science and the law on any listing questions. we recognize -- and i just want to say that we really recognize the value of the voluntary efforts to this conservation effort and
appreciate that we -- >> but would you agree with me that listing the prairie chicken would drive up the cost of utilities in kansas? >> senator, as i mentioned before, i am not an economist. so i couldn't answer truthfully a question like that. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. senator hoeven. >> madam secretary, thank you for joining us today. this administration, when it came into office, put a moratorium on leasing on all federal lands, both onshore and offshore. now, in april, the administration said that it would resume leasing, but that would only be on 20% of the available acreage, only 20% of the available acreage. and at the same time, you increased the royalty fees for production by 50%. right now, the price of gasoline,
average in the country, is over $4. 50 a gallon. diesel is another dollar and higher. there is not a single state in the country where the price of a gallon of gas is less than $4 and some of the forecasts are that that price could go as high as $6 average across the country this summer. think of the impact that has on everybody. and it hits low income people the hardest. and that energy cost isn't just a cost they pay at the pump, that energy cost is in every single product that they buy, every day. so, my question is, why are you not allowing more leasing on federal lands to help? >> senator, thank you so much for the question, and of course, i've talked a few times during this hearing about how much i
understand what the majority of americans are going through. so thank you for that. i just want to say that we are working toward a balance on our public lands. the reforms that we implemented with the last 80% that you referred to was the fact that during climate change, of course, that enters the picture. we don't want the seeing in fragile ecosystems and so forth, but leasing can take place near places where infrastructure already exists. and where there is a potential to find oil, and you might know, a lot of leases currently don't really have the potential to produce. so we worked very hard to make sure that we were offering the lands that we felt would be of the most use to the industry.
>> where is the balance when you're not allowing any drilling offshore, and where onshore it's only 20% that you are even allowing before we even talk about your regulation is holding up the ability to get permits even on that list that you've awarded? how is that balance at a time when this country desperately needs the energy? >> senator, if i could just say that there is more than 20. 6 million acres of federal land that oil companies have on which to request permits. we've approved more than 4700 drilling permits since president biden came into office, 1100 in this year alone. >> in many cases, though, where they have those leases, either, a, you haven't approved the permit and then in cases where you have, they are being held up in court, which is why you need to continue to make this is available and permit them so that they can drill them. the
protection is going down. you understand that, right? in my state alone we were at 1. 5 million barrels a day, we are now down below 1. 1 million barrels a day, and on the bio i'm, and on to be blm a land lease sale that you are not, there's only 600 acres available in north dakota. doesn't that disenfranchised us in north dakota and continue to put people of this country under strain at the pump because they can't get oil and gas and are restrained from all the other products that they buy? and how is that remotely balanced? and how could you continue to say that these leases are available when they're not, for the reasons that i just articulated? >> senator, i realize that our country is going through a euro right now where we are barely coming out of the covid pandemic. there are -- there's tomorrow around the world. we are doing our best to move these issues forward in our
department -- >> excuse me, madam secretary. are you willing to make some of the -- are you willing to change what you are doing and make some of these leases available? >> senator, i am more than happy to -- as i said, follow the law, to do the work that we need to do, and have been doing it a. want to assure you we have been doing this work. >> the law provides that there is to be energy development and leasing on federal lands on shore and offshore. that's what the law provides. will he make those leases available at the time when our come tree badly needs it? >> senator, we have -- we will continue to do our work, just like we have since we came into this office. >> which means you are not making leases available? >> senator, with respect, to specific leases, i'm happy to
have my staff reach out to you if that is what you would like the answer to. >> i would just submit to you, madam secretary, that it's a very important at this time that we produce more energy in this country. it's very -- this inflation, the price of fuel, all these are impacting americans in a very harsh way. and i would ask that you consider that going forward so that we can produce more energy here domestically, rather than trying to get it -- i mean, the administration has gone to places like venezuela to try to get it. that makes no sense. we need to do it here at home and we need your help to do that on the federal that's. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, senator hoeven. before i close this hearing, i would like to say that blaming the biden administration for high oil prices ignores the fact that oil prices are set in the world market. there's put in, there is ukraine, if there is covid. doing this committee's hearing on energy
security and march, we discussed that 9000 leases on public lands. the 9000 leases that are being unused by oil and gas companies, and the pressure that companies feel from wall street to focus on stock buybacks rather than investigate more production. that that sink in for a while. the situation has not changed since march in. the first year of the biden administration companies produced more oil from federal lands onshore and offshore than in any year in history. and the fact is, as noted by madam secretary, oil and gas companies have more than 20. 6 million acres of federal lands under these on which they are not producing oil and gas. again, let's talk about their focus on stock buybacks rather than investing in more production. so let's be clear. putin has a lot to do with the gas price hike, and it
is hurting families all across the country and across the world and while putin is to blame, i would say, for the drastic like, we have been dealing with the volatility of all prices for a long time. and as long as we are reliant on oil, we will be subject to the opec oil cartels and affiliated for truth producers like russia. record oil prices in 2008 solidified hawaii's commitment toward renewable power in and away from burning oil. hawaii got it. we were the most oil import dependent state in the entire country. so hawaii figured it out. we need to make a change so the state is now getting over 38% of its power from renewable sources with the goal of 100% renewable power by 2045. so as we debate impacts on oil and gas sly
supplies of russia's invasion, we also need to keep our eyes on making our country much more energy self sufficient in the long term. that's where hawaii is going and that's where out the rest of the country should pay attention to. so madam secretary, thank you very much. deputy secretary module, and ms. fanone can, for coming before this committee. members will have until close of business tomorrow to submit additional questions for the record. the committee stands adjourned.
next hearing looking at the inequities in the financial system for people with disabilities. apparel of disability rights advocates discussed several topics including access to housing, employment opportunities, and job training. this hearing was held by a house financial services subcommittee. they also talked about the growing number of people newly disabled due to long covid. >> this hearing is entitled diversity includes disability, exploring inequities in financial services for persons with disabilities, including those newly disabled due to long term covid. i never recognize myself for four minutes to give an opening statement. this subcommittee has been